Acupuncture charts are an important tool for learning the trajectory of the meridians and the location of the acupuncture points in dogs. Even advanced therapists regularly use meridian charts to refresh their knowledge. Below you will find a free acupuncture chart for download.
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In this article, we’ll explore how to use charts for acupuncture and acupressure. We’ll also look at what meridians and acupuncture points actually are and how we can easily find them in dogs.
The 12 canine meridians
According to the concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the channels in which the life energy (Qi) circulates are called meridians. They lie directly under the skin and ensure the undisturbed functioning of the body. Like any other animal, the dog has 12 meridians, each associated with and closely related to one of the Zang-Fu organs.
Like their corresponding organs, each meridian can be assigned to either Yin or Yang. In addition, the 12 meridians are also divided into the 5 elements. In the following table, you will find an overview of all meridians of the dog.
What do Yin and Yang mean?
The concept of Yin and Yang plays an important role in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). They are perceived as two opposing forces that influence and are also dependent on each other. Everything in life has a Yin side and a Yang side at the same time. In Chinese medicine, it is assumed that an imbalance between Yin and Yang leads to illness.
Yin stands for the feminine, the cool, the dark, and is nourishing at the same time. In terms of the body, the lower half of the body is more Yin, as is the inside of the limbs.
Yang in contrast represents the masculine, the light, and the heat, the yang energy is rising and moving. Thus, the upper half of the body is more Yang than the lower half, as is the outside of the limbs, where the skin is thicker and stronger.
The trajectory of the meridians
- The Yin meridians of the forelimbs (lung, pericardium, heart) originate in the chest and run to the front paws.
- The Yang meridians of the forelimbs (small intestine, triple heater, large intestine) run from the front paws to the head.
- The Yin meridians of the hind limbs (spleen, liver, kidney) originate on the hind paws and run to the chest area.
- The Yang meridians of the hind limbs (stomach, gallbladder, bladder) run from the head to the hind paws.
Yin meridians run over parts of the body that are assigned to Yin. That is, they tend to run down the ventral side of the body and on the inside of the limbs, while Yang meridians run up the top of the body and on the outside of the limbs.
Click on the meridians to go to the acupuncture point charts.
Canine acupuncture points
There are areas on the meridians that have a special relationship with the rest of the body, these areas are called acupuncture points. They are lined up on the meridians, like on a string of pearls. Each of these points, when stimulated, has a particular effect on the body.
During an acupuncture session, several acupuncture points are usually treated. Based on certain criteria, the therapist creates a list of points that are then stimulated either with needles, an acupuncture laser, or manually.